Blantyre Bowling Club, 1909

On the last Wednesday evening of September 1909, the members of the Blantyre Bowling Club closed their season, with the annual supper was held in the neat new green pavilion at their ground on Stonefield Road.

Mr John Muir, president for 1909, occupied the chair, and in addition to representative attendance of the club members, the company consisted of many friends and representatives of neighbouring clubs.

Amongst the guests were Major Quirk, Motherwell and Provost Stalker of Wishaw. Messrs Robert Scott (vice president), Neil Douglas, J.P., A. R. Maxwell, and Arthur Blackley acted as croupiers. After substantial justice had been done from the very excellent food served by Mr Alex. Todd, purveyor , High Blantyre, the Chairman introduced a programme of song and sentiment, which for pointed wit and felicity on the part of the various speakers and the outstanding ability displayed by the singers had never been equalled at any similar time of the dub, and its compilation was certainly a tribute to the energy and organising talent of Mr Willie Campbell, secretary.

During an interval in tie proceedings, Mr Neil Douglas, in a characteristically happy manner, presented the prizes won during the season to the successful members. Mr Douglas also landed over to Mr James M•Donald, the genial and versatile greenkeeper, the proceeds of the recent benefit game. “Mac”, on returning thanks for their generous mindfulness of him, asked the treasurer of the club to accept the amount as a donation from him towards liquidating the debt on the new pavilion, an act which created quite an impression on the gathering.

Later in the programme, Mr McDonald contributed to the what was undoubtedly the “hit” of the evening and was uproariously received. This was the recitation of “A Blantyre Bowler’s Soliloquy,” composed by himself . Space below gives a few lines of the verses, but there were other names of the other gentlemen on the programme in further lines not published. Suffice to say, every member the company voted the evening the most successful and enjoyable yet held under the club’s auspices.

To illustrate this, I have the perfect picture. Blantyre Bowling Club perhaps just a couple of years earlier than 1909, after some event, with some of the people in the following verses pictured.

A BLANTYRE BOWLER’S SOLILOQUY (By James MacDonald. Greenkeeper.)

Gae bring my guid auld bools yince mair,
Gae bring them free an’ fast;
For I maun kiss the kitty yet,
Afore the seasons past.

I’ll try and find the fickle jade.
And shout wi muckle glee,
As by the crooked, narrow haun’,
I’ll reach the bonny tee.
Or e’en, perhaps, the drawin’ haun
Will fit me just as weel’;
It’s better booling ony way
Mair sportsmanlike and real.

It’s only “Michal” wi’ has quips,
That tries the quickest way
To run a port or tak’ the jack
Just weans and bairnies’ play.
The Gowans used to wag their heads .
Where Broons and Blackleys played:
And Douglas, portly, broad, and strong
There after bools had strayed.

But times have changed, and so have men.
Nae daisies noo can grow
Whaur boolers keen are working hard
The world their deeds to show.
Dalry this year—a flodden field
Where Blantyre boolers strong
Went doon like driftwood in a flood.
Nor stemmed the current long.

“M.O” a sad and waefu’ man.
Returned wi bools and shoon;
Unlettered and unsung his praise
His tourney days are dune.
But Broon at Snaquhar gie him cheer
A beardless laddie he,
Neer swept the decks o’ everything
Tae him we honour gie.

Oor booling champion, Jamie Broon.
In whom we pinned oor faith.
Got licket every place he tried
Was never free o skaith.
Next year we look for better work,
And this well swear upon
That to the club some fame will come
Through Jamie Paterson.

The buirdly green Convener
We’ve missed gey sair this year.
His smiling presence and his squibs.
Aye kept the boys in cheer.
His absence frae the grand cup games,
Was just a wee mischance;
On that account the cup and praise
Has landed in the manse.

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